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Maintenance Scanning of Archival External Drives

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Isaac Brillant
Maintenance Scanning of Archival External Drives
on Jul 7, 2011 at 2:45:14 am

Hi,

I remember reading somewhere that you should do a full surface scan of your external harddrives at least once a year, and that you can't just leave them idle for long periods of time.

Could some experts here tell me the best way to do this on a Mac? Do you use the Disk Utility? Or is it better or necessary to buy a program like DiskWarrior? Or, if the harddrive manufacture (in my case, Lacie and WD) supplies a program in the box, should I use that?

One person wrote in another forum: "If I had to use disks for archiving, I'd make sure that I attached them to a computer no less than once a year and do a full surface scan of every accessible sector on the disk using CHKDSK. This would re-map any sectors going "soft" before they dissolve altogether and take precious data with them.".... Is there a "mac way" to do this CHKDSK scan? (I have no idea what that scan is, just that it's apparently good to do)

Someone else there wrote "I stick to WD Diagnostic Utility running in Windows, [I think he's referring to running Windows on the Mac] and I swear by the results and job it does."

So, what's the best way to approach this in your opinions?

And even if a drive seems to be working fine, when does it become too old to use? I came across something about "ramped" drives-- that one should use drives that "ramp the heads instead of parking them" because "parked heads can ruin drives with a little physical shock." Is this ramping heads a new thing? Can I assume that my drives have ramped heads?

I mainly use the 2 TB WD MyBooks, either with firewire or with eSata. I haven't had any crash yet, but the oldest one is only 2 years old. I'm more worried about my Lacies, which are between 2 and 6 years old)

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!
Isaac


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Rafael Amador
Re: Maintenance Scanning of Archival External Drives
on Jul 7, 2011 at 11:34:23 am

I use DisKarrior. Is very simple and effective.
TecchTools is a great application tool. It makes similar maintenance operations than DW but with some more options and tests.
Is more complicated to use than DW because you can start process that may take very-very long.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER stop any process on any application when is making any Disk Maintenance operation. Even if you see "Pause" or "Stop", don't do it.
My score is a 100% of HDs screwed (2 in total) after pausing or stopping.
rafael

[Isaac Brillant] "Someone else there wrote "I stick to WD Diagnostic Utility running in Windows, [I think he's referring to running Windows on the Mac] and I swear by the results and job it does.""
That may work to see how the HD is physically, but does nothing to maintain and clean your System HDs Directories, B-Trees, "Files Finder Info", Folders Structure,..
That stuff can be done but by an application supporting your MacOSX version.
You can't do this from windows.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Isaac Brillant
Re: Maintenance Scanning of Archival External Drives
on Jul 7, 2011 at 3:20:20 pm

Hi!
Thanks for the advice. When you wrote "DisKarrior," was that a typo for "Disk Warrior"? Whichever one you meant, I'm gonna buy a copy and try it.

Thanks!
Yitz


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Rafael Amador
Re: Maintenance Scanning of Archival External Drives
on Jul 7, 2011 at 10:29:17 pm

Yes, sorry for the typo.
Diskwarrior is the only software I make sure I have when I work on the field.
I paid it in 2.005, and still updating for free.
The money best ever invested in software.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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